Find out more with these panel beater cost examples

Sheen Panel Service on 24 August 2016

  • Always use genuine parts.
  • Get a quote tailored for your vehicle.
  • Request an accident replacement vehicle.

Shopping around for the best deal on smash repairs? Here's what you need to ask.

If you've started calling around your local panel beaters, you'll already know that smash repair cost estimates can vary. You may have even found a couple of panel beaters willing to do the job 'on the cheap'.

What you need to know, though, is that prices differ for a reason. As with many things in life, a cheaper upfront cost can leave you financially worse off overall, especially when it comes to the quality of repairs.

Here are four questions you should ask your smash repairer to determine whether you're getting good value for money or simply 'cheap and nasty' repairs.

1. Do you use genuine or non-genuine parts?

car engine parts and componentsGot a few smash repair cost estimates that seem too good to be true? Ask about the parts, which the smash repairers intend to use. One way 'cheap' repairers cut corners is by using non-genuine parts.

Genuine parts are more expensive to buy than copies. This is because only genuine parts are made by the original manufacturer, to exact fit and finish specifications. Additionally, only genuine parts are made to the manufacturer's own strict standards regarding quality, safety, and performance.

Alternatively, many non-genuine copies are not subject to the same quality standards. Therefore, they may wear more quickly, break more easily, or simply not function as required. And, if they do go wrong, unlike genuine parts, they will not be covered by the vehicle manufacturer's lifetime guarantee.

 Genuine Parts
Non-Genuine Parts

Cheaper to buy

Made by the vehicle manufacturer for an exact fit

Made to vehicle manufacturer quality standards

Backed by the vehicle manufacturer's guarantee

As you can see, non-genuine parts are cheaper upfront. However they can end up costing you significantly more in the long-run, due to quality standards and the lack of the vehicle manufacturer's guarantee.

2. Are these smash repair cost estimates tailored to my car?

If you've driven both a small car and an SUV during your lifetime, you'll know, no two cars are exactly alike.

Cars differ dramatically both inside and out, and this can affect the type of repairs required. For example, replacing panels on a Mazda 3 is different to replacing those on a Jaguar XJ.

While European made luxury vehicles are a joy to own and drive, they are typically more expensive to repair. This is due to more expensive, and potentially more difficult to source parts.

So, before you settle on quotes, ask 'have you worked on similar vehicles before?' For the most accurate smash repair cost estimates, find someone who knows your vehicle's make and model, and what the associated costs are. This can help you to avoid surprise costs in future.

3. What kinds of paints do you use?

You should always ask about paint when comparing smash repair cost estimates, as low quality paint can result in a range of issues for your vehicle.

Cheap paints often:

  • Degrade quickly: this affects the look and feel of your car
  • Be dangerous: they can emit toxins long after the paint has been applied
  • Peel away: this leaves your car's panels exposed and susceptible to rust

Like other panel beater cost examples and comparisons on this list, the true cost of 'cheap' paints is often not known until down the track, when you're forced to pay more to cover the issues.

4. Do you have accident replacement vehicles?

This is an especially important one because it's often something drivers do not consider when comparing smash repair cost estimates.

Life doesn't stop for vehicle smash repairs. The kids still need to be taken to school. White collar workers still need to get the office. And, tradies still need to move their tools to the worksite.

That's why an accident replacement vehicle is vital. If your repairer doesn't offer one, you could potentially pay hundreds in hire car costs. This cost can quickly eat up any 'savings' you may make by choosing a cheaper repairer.

accident replacement vehicle fleet yard

Type of carPrice of rental per day*

Small car


4WD or SUV


Ute or work car




*Estimated rental costs will differ depending on location, vehicle and choice of provider

Rental car costs can add up quickly, and the longer your vehicle spends with the repairer, the more you will pay. This is something you should always consider when comparing smash repair cost estimates.

"When it comes to smash repair cost estimates, a cheaper upfront cost can leave you financially worse off overall."

Want a smash repair quote?

At Sheen, we provide great value smash repairs. We don't cut corners and we don't use cheap (yet inferior) products. We ensure the job is done properly, first time, every time, and we do so at a competitive price. But don't just take our word for it, we are thankful that leaders in similar industries such as car finance also recommend Sheen to their customers, and if that's not enough then check out some of our online reviews

Established in Victoria in 1969, at Sheen, we have been providing Australians with quality repairs for over 45 years, and even after all that time, we still remain a proudly family-run business.

Find out more about Sheen smash repairs online, or call us today on 1300 REPAIR